Wedding on the Waves: A Guide to Getting Married on a Cruise Ship


With the breath-taking beauty of the ocean in the background, could there be anything more romantic than getting married at sea? A wedding on the waves makes the big day even better than you’d ever imagined. If you’ve always dreamed of tying the knot on the waters, then be sure to check out this guide to getting married on a cruise ship.

We’ll answer the following questions:

Which cruise lines offer marriage-at-sea packages?

Royal Caribbean

From proposing to renewing your vows, Royal Caribbean offer couple’s packages that cover all aspects of matrimony. ‘Royal Proposals’ lets you pop the big question in private, with a photography service to commemorate the occasion and a personal event planner to make sure everything goes smoothly.

‘Destination I Do’ makes organising the big day easy, with a personal wedding planner and day-of-wedding coordinator at your disposal, a private wedding venue, Champagne, a three-tiered wedding cake, honeymoon dinner, a gift from Royal Caribbean, a decorated honeymoon room and more. Additionally, you and your guests will also have priority check-in with a pier-to-ship escort depending if you embark on your wedding day.

If you’re looking to renew your vows, then ‘Vows At Sea’ lets you choose the venue and invite friends and family to share in the occasion. With a pre-cruise wedding planner and onboard wedding coordinator to streamline proceedings, the couple will also be served a bottle of Champagne, a three-tier wedding cake, and a dinner at your specialty restaurant of choice. A photography service will be on hand to commemorate the occasion, among a host of other treats for you and your spouse.

Celebrity Cruises

As of October 2017, Celebrity Cruises now offer legal same-sex weddings at sea, combining luxury and fun to make it an unforgettable day. Their ‘Nautical Nuptials at Sea’ package includes a ceremony led by the captain, the services of an event coordinator, cake for two, Champagne, a gorgeous bouquet and a romantic turn-down service for after the ceremony.

This marvellous end to the day includes chocolate-covered strawberries, one bottle of Champagne plus flutes, his-and-hers robes and rose petals on your bed! 

Holland America Line

If you’re an older couple looking to tie the knot, then Holland America could be the line for you. Its starting package, the onboard ‘At Sea Symbolic’ package includes an onsite wedding coordinator, a ship officer to perform the ceremony, an 8×10 photo and commemorative photo album and a keepsake wedding certificate.

How much do cruise weddings cost?

Cruise weddings vary in price, but they usually start around $2,500 for one that includes a photographer, cake, Champagne or wine, flowers and a wedding certificate. It all depends on how much you’re willing to splash out on, prices can go all the way to five figures, but the amenities afforded by cruise weddings of this cost make it a truly opulent experience of unparalleled luxury.

Can I get married in a port ceremony?

Absolutely, you aren’t limited to just getting married onboard. Many cruise lines offer the opportunity to get married in port. It’s incredibly romantic and idyllic but please be aware that the necessary paperwork has to be completed in advance and in accordance with the local registrar.

Additionally, please be aware that unforeseen events such as stormy weather may affect your port marriage, so it’s important to have a back-up plan in case events like these render the ceremony impossible.

Who is able to perform my ceremony?

A popular choice amongst guests, the captain of the ship can officiate your ceremony. However, please note that getting married by the ship’s captain while at sea can limit your choice of cruise line. Because of the legality surrounding certain ships’ countries of registry, be sure to double-check the fine print if you’re planning on doing this.

If this isn’t the case, a non-denominational officiant will conduct the ceremony. In fact, the legal red tape means these will be the more likely official.

Do my guests need to also book a cruise?

Not necessarily. Your wedding guests can choose to travel with you on the cruise, in which case, they’ll have to book a cruise. On the other hand, they can attend the ceremony, and then disembark before the cruise sets sail.

It differs with every cruise line, but there are varying rules regarding how many people can attend the wedding that aren’t sailing. Some lines don’t allow non-sailing guests, even for weddings. If you’ll be having a large party of guests sailing with you then make sure to check with the cruise line about its group rates.

When is the best time to get married on a cruise?

At certain times of the year, cruise marriages may incur a supplementary charge. This is usually from May to September as well as popular holidays and, of course, Valentine’s Day. It’s worth keeping in mind that if you’re planning on getting married in the Caribbean, hurricane season starts from around June and lasts until November, so it is best to avoid cruising during these dates.

Like the sound of a cruise ship wedding ceremony? Head over to our dedicated homepage and get planning the big day today, or give our friendly customer care team a call on 1300 522 460

Note: This post was updated in November 2017 for accuracy and timeliness.


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